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78.78% Troubled Paradise / Chapter 26: Chapter 26 Birthday

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Chapter 26: Chapter 26 Birthday

The family got up early the next morning. They hadn't even bothered going back to bed and so now only Ian looked well-rested, not even the smallest trace of fatigue was visible on his face. He was the complete opposite of everyone else who had panda eyes. He raised a brow, "Why do you all look so tired?" They wanted too slap him over his head. Why do you sleep so heavily!?

It was that morning that Ian was informed of the break-in. He instantly grew anxious as he was, quite literally, sleeping in the presence of the enemy. He wondered just how badly his mother was holding back from slapping him. She had always warned him to at least be wary of his surroundings and he was willing to follow her advice. Only when awake of course.

"Did you provoke anyone?" The question seemed to be aimed specifically at Ian and his anger issues but it was actually for everyone. Hera was even asking herself. Jacob shook his head along with Hera. They hardly got missions anymore and would only go out if absolutely necessary. Although, it didn't matter how long ago they did this or that it was up to whether someone was willing to keep a grudge. They only shook their heads as they weren't aware of any free-roaming, active pursuers.

They looked towards Oliver. He was thinking whether or not to voice his suspicions on Mr. Sallow but that would out them in a difficult situation. Not only was Mr. Sallow his own boss but so his parent's own and maybe even Ian's future one. Losing his influence would plunge the family into chaos. For now, he would just watch him from afar. They weren't from here, getting another job would put a strain on his family. He slowly shook his head.

The parents turned to look at Ian. Everyone else said they had no knowledge of offending anyone so who else could it be? Ian could sense what was running through their questioning gaze and hurriedly denied having any involvement. School gave out weeks ago. Anyone he offended would have probably forgotten about it already. The room was left with no questions answered. Everyone always shared the problems they had but now, as Hera looked around, she felt her once strong and secured family was growing distant..

The remaining days flashed by and it was Ian's birthday. Everyone had taken the day off just to celebrate it. They decided to start it from the night before as Ian couldn't sleep. As the clock hit 12 the final paper was pulled off to reveal 'August 22.' They wished him happy birthday and encouraged him to get some rest for the next few hours of his birthday. Although he was reluctant, he was able to fall asleep in the end. Early the next morning, around 7-8AM, the family was heading through the doors. They had arranged to do some shopping in the day to get what Ian wanted as it was easier than guessing his preferences.

They entered one store with games and electronics. Ian chose a headphone and a few games to play back at home. His mother cursed at him for not taking better care of his previous headphones which resulted in him buying a new one each year. His parents only bought his wants like this when it was his birthday, if it was any other day then he would have to save and buy it himself. They crossed over and went into another store filled with clothes. Hera tried on a few on Ian and asked for the boy's opinion on some of them. They walked out with only a small bag with a shirt after spending around 2 hours in the store.

They walked from store to store, choosing different items and clothes to buy. At mid-day they bought some fast food to eat and after resting a bit headed home. This was how everyone of their birthdays went. It was ways celebrated at night. When they got home it was around 2PM. Ian chose to relax on the couch after the hours of walking, Oliver joined, sitting beside him. They continued their slouching sometimes, looking over at their parents who were too busy sorting out the stuff they bought.

They analyzed what to wear as if it was one of their missions. They reasoned, stating why they should wear this and why not to. They even got into an argument a few times saying the others fashion sense was about as good as their ability in completing missions. The lowest of the bunch.

Soon, it was 4PM and everyone was on their feet again. Ian and Oliver went to take a shower as Hera placed the clothes she had chosen on their bed then went to do her own business. After fussing about, they were finally ready at 6PM. They skipped out the door again, heading in the direction of the fun spot. The car ride was mostly silent only the low sound of music coming from Ian's headphones and his mother continously warning him about the dangers it brings to listen to it do loudly. Unfortunately for her, he couldn't hear a word she was saying and only nodded before upping it even more.

Oliver relaxed back into the seat behind him. He noticed how giddy Ian seemed to be and decided to take his chance at life. He pulled off the headphones of the unexpecting Ian and flipped it over his. The loud music made him cringe and made him move it a bit from his ears. After he felt he had adjusted he out it on once again. He could clearly hear the lyrics as realized it wasn't the same song. The song from before was so loud he thought guys eardrums would bleed and the words couldn't be heard. This one was a lot lower amd calmer. He could hear it speaking to him.

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"I travel way too light, just a car and a blue sky."

He recognized the song but couldn't remember exactly where. He turned towards Ian who instantly understood what he was referring to. He turned his phone screen to him. It was darker than average and so Oliver had to squint a bit to make out the words: Pretty Little Jaguar. Below the song title was the artist's name, Bakermat.

"Don't take it if you can't manage it." He heard Ian's words through the song. He laughed. "It's not that I can't manage but aren't you just trying to find an excuse because we're getting closer to the Ferris wheel?"

"Pretty little Jaguar,"

"You didn't get too far;"

Ian glared at Oliver. "It's obviously not that, aren't you the one who's scared?"

"Now you fall apart."

"Pretty Little Jaguar;"

"Oh, did I push too hard?"

Oliver laughed. They way Ian was visibly shaking already gave him away. He saw the vague colorful lights in the distance but chose to relax back into his seat. Ian didn't take back the headphones and so they both felt at ease once more, looking out through opposite windows.

"Little Jaguar."


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